I’ve emerged into the outside world, among a panorama of open hills and forests, and near the Crow River.
After running for several miles, I decide to grab 40 winks. And by ’40 winks’ I mean sleeping for a ‘night and a day’. In the open wilderness. Without interruption.
I can accept Spirit Tigers, but some things just stretch suspension of disbelief too far.
And then, by some good fortune, I am not awakened by a goblin tearing out my throat, but rather feeling a ‘light rain’ falling onto my head. signalling the start of a ‘beautiful summer’s day’. All that’s missing is Tinker Bell dancing in the dew drops next to me.
More importantly, given the scrapes I keep getting into, I regain 4 endurance. I reasonably decide to avoid human civilization due to the ‘many foes’ I have accumulated. I guess I’ll change my name from Avenger to Sensible. I travel past the Sea of the Star and am undisturbed for several days.
I am then told in no uncertain terms that I have ‘unpleasant black swellings’ all over my chest. I KNEW I shouldn’t have believed that stripper when she promised she’d ‘never done this’ before! In something of a fatalistic approach, I note that there is nothing I can do for the moment and travel on.
I then hear a shout of horror and, forgetting my temporary pledge to avoid trouble, spy four men (being a warrior, two priests and a wizard) facing a ‘ghostly faceless figure in blackened, rusted mail’. The four adventurers face this foe and, while two of them attack ineffectually, their wizard casts some kind of spell which creates a cloud of yellow gas around all the participants in the fight.
Of all the things I was expecting today, World War I trench warfare was not one of them.
Do I wish to assist these bumblers? I’d better, before one of them takes his own eye out while scratching his nose.
I rush into the yellow fog, and am able to overcome the sickness and nausea because of my ninja background. The priest in white robes is floundering around while the (apparently) undead Warlord readies his sword for a little impromptu surgery.
I attempt the Teeth of the Tiger throw, because if I’m going to be killed in this ridiculous encounter, I am determined to go out in style. To give me a fighting chance, I am told that IF I succeed in throwing my opponent, I can double (!) any damage from my follow-up attack.
Needing a 6 on two dice to throw the Warlord, I get a….5. He then slices at my groin (!). His initial roll is successful, but I manage to block the blow.
Going back to basics, I throw an Iron Fist punch at his chest. Needing a 7, I roll in style, scoring a 7. Feeling pretty chuffed about rolling a 6 for damage, the book (and if books could sneer, you know it would be doing it right now) mentions that the undead nature of my foe means that all damage against it is halved.
On a more fortunate note, the Warlord’s follow-up attack is a failure.
Endurance : Me 12, Warlord 11
I attempt my throw again, and again fail (!). Luckily, the sword thrust of this ghastly monstrosity is also a bust.
Trying to change things up, I express my friendly intentions with a Leaping Tiger kick. No dice. (bad pun alert!). I also dodge the follow up.
Because I never learn my lesson, I AGAIN go for the throw. Success! My Leaping Tiger kick leaps as intended, but after the brain-busting procedure of doubling, then halving, my damage, I only manage to inflict 3 points.
Endurance : Me 12, Warlord 8.
Given my inspiring record of hitting once in a row, I go for the throw again (!) and again succeed. My follow up kick also breaks through, but I again only score a modest 4 in damage. My defences against the Warlord remain steadfast.
Endurance : Me 12, Warlord 4.
Once more for the win! I successfully throw and my subsequent kick smashes into his fleshless skull. The 6 damage is more than enough for my rescue of this ‘adventuring’ party to be complete.
The Warlord’s sword ‘turns to smoke’ and I turn to receive the laurels of victory. The yellow gas conveniently dissipates, and I see that the two priests, wounded swordsman, and wizard are collecting themselves. The warrior is wounded but is in the process of being healed.
In a beautiful piece of snark, the book dryly mentions that these bumblers are powerful adventurers ‘though their recent performance suggests otherwise’. Seriously, dudes, if you’re the best the good guys have to offer, its no wonder that you need a ninja like me to travel through the world, winning arena challenges, assassinating evil warlords with poison string, and generally setting the place to rights.
I am given the option of vanishing down the hillside, but that would remove any possibility of receiving my just rewards. I accept the four stooges’ invitation to eat with them, and I presumably hand over a light red wine to accompany the meal.
I then discover that this hearty repast consists merely of dried meat and oatmeal biscuits. I’m sure the evil-doers of this world get a decent cooked steak, at the very least.
I listen to their internal squabble, as the magician is scolded, justifiably, for conjuring poison gas around a creature that doesn’t need to breathe. It does seem somewhat pointless, similar to threatening me that, if I don’t behave, I won’t get to watch another Adam Sandler movie.
There is an exchange of items among the group, as apparent compensation for the swordsman’s injured arm. I politely refrain from pointing out that if I hadn’t been there for the rescue, they wouldn’t be able to politely haggle over such items.
FINALLY, we get to the good stuff, as the priest heals me of all lost endurance, and casually mentions that I have caught the plague during my sojourn in the goblin mountains. The plague. Suuuure, it was. In any event, I am healed of the ‘plague’ and finally take my leave.
Hopefully they won’t set themselves on fire the second I walk over the next hill.
Status : Endurance 20, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier : +1, Fate Modifier : +1, Throw Modifier : 0, Inner Force : 5
Awesome names : The Sea of the Star was nicely poetic.